The goal of integrated care is one that health providers across the country are striving for. In North East Lincolnshire we are one step closer to this goal with a brave and comprehensive initiative called Single Point of Access.
We’ve brought together the agencies and providers of Community Health, GP Out of Hours, Mental Health and Adult Social Care to provide a single telephone number, staffed by local people who can provide advice and signpost on health, mental health and social care issues.
This provides a simple solution for local people and is the local alternative to the national 111 number. Behind this simplicity, however, this has been a highly complex project bringing the main agencies together, moving staff and integrating IT and infrastructure.
Previously there were several Single Points of Access already in existence, all with good degrees of success. The new Integrated Single Point of Access, builds on these and also includes a self-service website and drop-in centres throughout the community.
The Single Point of Access will not stop developing after the formal launch, it will continue to grow – with advanced plans already in place to include improved access and cross-agency coordination for more services in the short and medium term future.
This is one of the largest and most innovative projects undertaken in North East Lincolnshire and is a testament to the health and care community’s commitment to partnership working. As we approach the formal launch of this new service we are rightfully proud of this not only being a ground-breaking service locally, but also nationally.